SC to hear Custodial death petition of Yousuf Haji on 31st March, 2014

Rare case of corruption & criminalization in politics  

 

            Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of JJ Dr. B.S. Chauhan, Mr. A.K. Sikri and Mr. Justice M.Y. Eqbal today after a brief hearing from the Senior Counsel, Prof. Bhim Singh and J&K Advocate-General M.I. Qadri in a writ petition filed by Shri Balwant Singh Mankotia, MLA Panthers Party and Shri Talib Hussain, son of late Yousuf Haji ordered to list the writ petition seeking CBI probe into the custodial death of Yousuf Haji who was arrested on 29th September, 2011 from the residence of Chief Minister, J&K, Mr. Omar Abdullah on the orders of the Chief Minister. Yousuf Haji died in custody on the night between 29th & 30th September, 2011.

Prof. Bhim Singh, Senior Advocate & Sr. Executive Member of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) made a strong appeal to the court for its intervention so that the custodial death shall be investigated by an independent agency, CBI to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice without any further delay. He said that a noted ruling party (NC) leader was invited by the Chief Minister at his residence and nobody knows what happened with him inside. It is on record that Yousuf Haji was assaulted inside Chief Minister’s House and he was taken to police station on the orders of the Chief Minister (though Chief Minister had no locus to issue warrant of arrest against any person) in a critical condition. Yousuf Haji died some hours after his arrest at the police station (though police claims that he died in police hospital). It is also on record that Yousuf Haji’s relations or NOK (next of kins) were never informed about his arrest, detention or death.

Prof. Bhim Singh submitted before the Supreme Court that this is the rarest of the rare case of corruption and criminalization in politics in the history of independence India which needed thorough investigation because the entire police hierarchy including Director General of Police, the Chief Secretary and of course the Chief Minister were responsible for this custodial death. Justice H.S. Bedi, former judge of the Supreme Court who was appointed as a Head of the Commission of Inquiry by J&K Govt. submitted his report on December 22, 2012 holding, inter-alia had submitted, “Admittedly, no relative had been informed by the police as was their obligation and even assuming that the relatives had received some information that would still not absolve the police officers of their duty under D.K. Basu’s case.” Prof. Bhim Singh has maintained that Bedi Commission was only a casual civil inquiry commission whose recommendations were of advisory nature only.

 

Prof. Bhim Singh has also referred to important cases where Justice Dr. B.S. Chauhan was a member of the Division Bench of the Supreme Court which had ordered investigation by CBI in a Gujarat case. It was with the permission of the court that Mr. Talib Hussain, s/o Yousuf Haji has also joined as a petitioner.

The court ordered that the case shall be listed on 31st March, 2014.

Prof. Bhim Singh was assisted by M/s. B.S. Billowria, D.K. Garg, S.K. Bandopadhyay, Advocates.